Portable printing set up?

I’m putting together a small portable printing kit, using a small Adana press.

But I wondered if anyone had any ingenious ideas re. creating a portable set up?

I’m planning on using some small Adana style type cases to transport type (just a few cases) which I’ll have to find a way of securing with foam lined lids which are then possibly clamped together.

But I’d welcome any ideas from any Briar Press users who have done similar.

Thank you!

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Hello Simon….. there is a book about Spy Devices by a fellow named Melton that shows an OSA (predecessor to the CIA) printing outfit in a wooden case. One of the features of that outfit is a small type drawer with a plywood lid that is held in place with a thumbscrew.

I’ve got one of the OSA presses, and it’s wooden box, but unfortunately mine is not complete. I don’t have the type box or it’s lid.

Many years ago I built a portable print shop around a 3x5 Kelsey, with nine 2/3 type cases and three small drawers for accessories like stick, leads, planer, etc. it is about 24 inches square and about 12 inches tall and stood on somewhat flimsy furniture legs. I used it on the road several times. I don’t have a photo handy, sorry.


One of the greatest portable shops I have seen was developed by Craig Starr of Maosnville, Iowa. The whole thing was set up on a small trailer which could be towed behind a vehicle, and had a cover which could be lifted to reveal an entire printing shop in a very small footprint. I have attached a photo which could give you some ideas. Craig found it convenient to bring the “Tramp Printer” shop to schools and fairs for demonstrations.

I can’t recall whether he had anything on top of individual cases to keep the type characters from jumping ship, but he may well have had something.

Craig also set up an entire shop in a semi-trailer (which, by the way, has a surprising amount of space), adding a wall at the back end, folding the doors back and latching them out of the way and building steps up to the door in the wall. His intention was to someday move south and his shop would be portable enough to ship wherever he chose to go. He has mioved it once, but that was just a small move within his hometown.

image: Tramp Printer.JPG

Tramp Printer.JPG

Hi — This is Craig Starr, mentioned by John H. This little 4x5 printshop on wheels used a press/typestand made especially for traveling; the slides for the type cases was thin aluminum angle, so there was no type-pi-ing. When using standard type stands, a sheet of corrugated cardboard box makes a good spacer for traveling.
My current print-shop-in-a-box is a 8x48’ insulated cargo container, which works out really well with it’s solid oak floor. A small LP furnace warms it up quickly, and a small window air conditioner cools it in summer. Anyone wanting more info on this, just ask.